How to install Samsung’s S Voice app on your Ice Cream Sandwich phone [Tips]

Daniel Bader

May 28, 2012 9:16 pm

Samsung’s S Voice is a phone assistant app that will come bundled with every Galaxy S III. But luckily for us it is also a third-party app, which means that even though it won’t be downloadable from Google Play it is installable on other devices.

A few days ago a test version of S Voice leaked that provided access to Samsung’s servers. It was shut down shortly thereafter as the company claimed it was not fit for public consumption. A newer version, extracted from the shipping Galaxy S III ROM, has been made available and it seems to be working on most devices running Ice Cream Sandwich. Now, only a day before the phone’s official release date, it seems to be working again. Note: you must be running Ice Cream Sandwich for S Voice to run correctly.

There are currently two ways to get S Voice working depending on whether you have root access. The non-root version is a little more temperamental and may not work all time; on the other hand, the root-based version has been working and stable for us for a few days now.

Non-root (most users)

1. Go to Settings/Security and check “Unknown sources”
2. Download the S Voice APK file (mirror)
3. Install S Voice from the notification bar or Downloads app
4. Profit!

Check to see if the app works by going into your app drawer.

Root users (more stable solution)

1. Download ZIP. Extract on your desktop. If you download to phone directly, you still need to extract to a normal folder.
2. Contained within is 2 files (voicetalk.apk & libsvoxtts.so).
3. Place voicetalk.apk in system/app with “Root Explorer” (Use Mount R/W and set permissions by holding voicetalk.apk to see sub-menu). Make sure to make permissions as “rw-r–r–“.
4. Now place libsvoxtts.so on /system/lib.
5. Reboot
6. Profit!

Let us know what you think of S Voice and whether you got it working properly on your rooted or non-rooted device.

Source: XDA-Developers, The Verge

  • Charlies Worms

    Tried this this afternoon on my Mom’s HTC Desire running CM9 beta. Had a good larrrf.

  • Rob VH

    Is there a way to restore your phone to it’s “pre-S Voice” state in case the install is unstable? I’m referring to the non-root instructions above.

    • Sean

      You just delete it like you would any other app

    • uhhdoug

      defiantly! all you have to do (if your rooted) is make a backup in cwm :D if not rooted just uninstall. but you wont have to, check xda-developers forum for your device to see if there is a cwm flashable zip or a step by step and follow that :D

  • jeff

    Couldn’t even download it (non root)

  • PhilsGhost

    Just tried the non-root method. Followed the steps, but when I attempt to open the app from my downloads, I get the message “cannot open file”

  • Dalex

    Have had it on my rooted s2 with cm9 for the past week. It’s ok, but it’s such a gimmick. I get bored of it in 1-2 mins. This and Siri are just gimmicks and not selling point for a device.

  • PkaTka2

    Siri is that you? Sammy copying again but who cares. Personally, I don’t like voice assistance. It’s weird to talk to your phone, but for those who like it, android has now a good assistant.

    • Rebellion

      PkaTka2,

      Other than being the d!ck of the board here do some research before you continue spewing crap. Apple steals from the development community and posts it as their own. Speech instructions came out on Android back in the 2.x days but was bare bones. Products like Vlingo and others polished it up. They just didn’t have the multibillion dollar advertising campaign that Apple has.

      As for theft, talk to the student that submitted iSync that was stolen after he submitted the code to the iTunes store and was denied. They even took his icon.

    • Rio

      It has nothing to do with advertising.

      Yes all phones had voice commands and apple ‘stole’ it from someone else.

      But apple integrated it perfectly, in a way other phone or app did it.

      Compare s-voice to Siri, it looks identical and works exactly. If you can’t see that I am amazed by how your brain works.

      Apple copies and adds their own twist to it, Samaung on the other hand just blantly copies everything exactly. They couldn’t even come up with their own USB cable and charger, they looks exactly like Apples

  • chris groy

    i actually tried the rooted version of the instructions, but something went wrong.

    i downloaded a root explorer (the free one) and travelled to the root address /. i made the /system folder have the permissions rw- r– r–, from rw- rw- r–, and all of these pop ups appeared saying “xxx has stopped working” with probably every single app. is there a way i am able to restore those permission settings? my phone is in an infinite loop in CM9 but i am able to revert back into stock ROM. will that help?

    • uhhdoug

      what phone do you have? cm9 is bootlooping? or what? have you done a cwm backup? if its a sammy I would suggest just darkside superwipe and reinstall rom.. always backup :D

  • uhhdoug

    i have this on my i727R its a hoot.. great for driving.. wish the “driving mode” feature worked better though.. the whole “wake from lock” doesn’t work well.

  • Shaun Mac

    I followed the instructions to a T….except for the part with Set permissions to “rw-r-r” in Root Explorer. I don’t see an option like this in RE.
    Tried installing the .apk and no luck. Help? Rooted Nexus S running 4.0.4

  • Craig

    Installed and working on rooted SGS2, [ROM][4.0.4] Slim ICS (SGS2).

    Thanks guys!

  • Nitin Gaba

    Non-root version works if you download it from the mirror instead and then transfer it to the phone. I downloaded it from the mirror then put it on google drive, then opened it on phone and it is now working.

  • Ryan

    I installed with the non root method on my Galaxy Nexus. It started up and I started through the tutorial. Then it crashed and wouldn’t start again. I then rebooted and it still wouldn’t start.

  • EmperumanV

    @Ryan – Hence the non rooted version = unstable

  • Gab

    I notice alarm doesn’t work. GS3 probably has a different name for their alarm app?

  • h00ch

    Just download Vlingo instead (S Voice is made by them)

  • Cody

    Didn’t work, told me I’ve reached my download limit (non-root)….

  • Rob VH

    How is it different from Vlingo which all Samsung Galaxy S II users can access simply by double-clicking the home button? Will Samsung be upgrading that app to include new features?

  • Zombi

    I’ve installed it on my rooted ICS SGS2x and I keep getting “network error” when I try to talk…

  • Thas

    According to the good people over at Xda, S Voice is just Vlingo or at least a variation of it. It’s no Siri, but I’ll stick to Vlingo since it’s already pretty decent & all signs point to it getting better.

  • mysticlll

    Tried it on a rooted Atrix with Ice Cream Sandwich. Works pretty well.

  • Drone

    This app sucks.. I’ve had it for a few days and it keeps force closing.

  • nightpot

    Thanks Daniel for the root version!

  • Zeshan

    Not as interactive as Siri… but definitely a great start… thanks for this

  • Rio

    When it comes out on the iPhone every one here said its useless and no use, now Samsung releases something identical to Siri and everyone is rushing to install it on their Androids?

    Sorry to generalize, I noted that the civilized android user on this site makes valuable comments on these kinds of post, while the Apple Trollers are no where to be found.

    Again I know, voice commands have been around for ages but it was never packaged like Siri, and yet again Apple has brought back any reinvented the voice assistant. I really hope Samsung and Apple can go far with this.

    It is an amazing feature to have, especially when driving.

  • thistimewithsugar

    @Rebellion

    I admire your tenacity to try and educate @PkaTka2 but he is too far gone into the Apple fold to listen to reason and logic. He is a loyal Apple follower through and through and no amount of deprograming will allow us to bring him back to a normal independent thinking human. His mind, wallet and desire to be free now belong to Apple and Apple only. Heck, I’m sure he even has the Apple thermostat installed where he lives.

  • Dave

    Tried non rooted version of this on nexus S very unstable waste of time with the app but Hey fun trying out.

  • Nate

    Installed it on my Galaxy Nexus ,non rooted. works.
    After 5 mins with it i got bored and said. Where and why would i want to use this ??
    I just don’t see any use for this at all, i’m sorry maybe it’s me but i dont get it.

  • Zeshan

    How would you change some settings in this app? As there is no menu button

  • N/A

    @Rebellion:

    How could Apple steal a pre-existing idea…..? WiFi sync isn’t an original idea and it’s been around since Android 2.0. Is it not unreasonable to think that Apple had been working on WiFi sync to compete with Android, and rejected Hughes’ app since they were releasing it in the near future? Also, Hughes’ logo looks nothing like the iSync logo. Second, two arrow circling each other is the universal sync logo. It’d be like you making a slightly modified Bluetooth logo for an app you designed and then complaining that your logo idea was stolen. I can think of at least a dozen apps that have existed before iSync that have “stolen” Hughes’ logo: The Missing Sync, Apple Software Update, Google Sync, Microsoft Sync Framework, Nokia Mail Sync, etc. Lets sue these bastards for stealing Hughes’ idea before he even came up with it!!!!!!

  • Sebby

    works perfectly fine on my non-rooted Nexus S

  • xperiaplayowner

    Got this working on a rooted/bootloader unlocked xperia play running an AOKP rom. It’s cool, however I don’t think I’ll be using it much because I am not yet more comfortable speaking to my phone than I am setting it up to click and quickly get the info I’m looking for.
    I do expect google to include a virtual assistant, an upgrade onto it’s voice command app, in its next iteration of Android, be it 4.1 or 5.0, and it will be interesting to see how it compares with s-voice, and siri.

  • max

    I’ve got “network error”
    can somene help?

  • Ray

    Cant dl it, some help please and ty!

  • Craig

    Says reached download limit for the file I downloaded..what do I do? I am not rooted.

  • Mark

    I copied it to Download folder, navigated to it and said install apps. It started installing but then said application wasn’t installed. Any idea?

  • emann

    Your link is outdated